VENEWS: Static Jupiter

Tate Kaufman
Evan Brien
August Bramhoff

An hour before the show starts, Valeria and I stand outside the front doors of Static Jupiter as people hustle inside, brushing snow from their shoulders, and pulling off their hoods to reveal anticipatory smiles. Valeria, the Venue Operator at Static Jupiter, speaks exuberantly of her vision: a multipurpose community hub focused on creating a constructive relationship between artists, venues, and promoters, working towards the preserving and strengthening of Vancouver’s vibrant musical scene.

Furnished with rugs of Andean and Persian textures draped across the walls and over the floors, and a cozy living room set up near the back of the performance area, it’s evident that an incredible amount of care and precision has gone into the venue.  From its location, a once forgotten, now revived 80’s recording studio that until recently, had been horribly assigned the fate of a corporate storage unit, is now swathed in gorgeous red and white caravan tent decor that pervades every corner of the venue. For some reason, I keep on thinking I’ve been transported to some vaguely remembered mystery or noir movie, pinpointed when Valeria informs me that the red-velvet aesthetic derives from Twin Peak’s infamous red-room.

Although the venue plays host to music all over the spectrum, it’s primary focuses are revealed in the name itself. Static for the noise, fuzz, and interruption of garage rock and Jupiter for the spacy, alien nature of psych rock. The venue no doubt lends itself to these genres, replicating a 60’s atmosphere in a modern setting. This is especially emphasized by the live light shows that accompany each performance. Although Static Jupiter works with a wide variety of visual artists, tonight, the Northern Lights Show is on duty, presenting a hybrid of live oil projections layered with computerized effects. The result is a vibrant, ever transforming display that melds with the music, while simultaneously providing grittier computerized visual textures.

Valeria told me earlier that to truly appreciate the venue, I had to wait to witness a live show taking place, and she was right. Static Jupiter comes alive as soon as a note echoes out from the stage, and every second that passes truly feels like something special. With its initial inception as a recording studio, the audio is fantastic, and hits you with unadulterated bliss from every direction. Tonight, local band Brother 12 opens for LA rock groups Triptides and Winter on their collaborative tour, and with instruments that vary from guitars to clarinets and harmonicas, the acoustics of the venue ensure the sound is always exceptional. Soon, Valeria hopes, she will have a vinyl cutter and tape recorder up and running to immortalize each night’s performances in a physical format. In the age of endless digital files Static Jupiter’s dedication to analog permanence demonstrates an impressive commitment to the underground DIY ethic that the venue embodies. Instead of music becoming awash in a sea of fleeting Spotify playlists, it becomes something real, transferable, eternal. This becomes evident when Valeria shows me a stack of tapes Swedish band BEEM left for her to distribute after booking an impromptu show here last week. She hopes her venue will enable people to discover music that they would never be able to find otherwise.

In the daytime, Static Jupiter operates as a recording studio, with Valeria herself working as the sound engineer. Currently, she’s working with local band Rambling Derelicts, who after 6 years together, are just now releasing their first material. Through Static Jupiter, she hopes, people will be able to enjoy the incredible music Vancouver has to offer long into the future, and no doubt, they will.